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Claim Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund Grant of £2,000

30 April 2020, Advocates, Artists, Creative Industries, General, Musicians, Sole Traders

Grants for newly self-employed

Applications for this grant opened on the afternoon of Thursday 30th April.  Grants are administered by the local authority in which you live.  To claim newly self-employed hardship fund cash, refer to your own local authority website.

Claim Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund

Claim Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund Cash

You need to apply in your Local Authority area and can only apply to this fund once.

You will be asked to provide documentary evidence of your status and eligibility for the grant.  Local authorities will then determine whether you meet the criteria, which has been set by the Scottish Government.

You will need to provide:

  • documentation to show you had an active business prior to COVID-19, such as your VAT registration, bank account statements showing revenue and outgoings linked to self-employment, marketing materials, etc.  A full list is provided with the application form.
  • self-declaration that you are currently experiencing hardship
  • evidence of being resident in the local authority area of application

Successful applicants will receive a one-off payment of £2,000.


It is hard enough starting up your own business at the best of times.  Until now, people who have started up their business in last year have been excluded from any of the COVID-19 support packages.  The announcement from the Scottish Government means that this neglected sector of the economy will finally be able to access support through grants of £2,000.

How do I qualify?

The grant is only available to the self-employed who live in Scotland.  You will need to provide evidence of your residence – e.g. a council tax bill and your ID e.g. passport / driving licence.

To claim Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund support you must have started your freelance business after 5th April 2019.  If you submitted a self-employment page in your 2018-19 tax return you are not eligible for the grant.

You must sign a declaration confirming that you meet all of the following criteria:

  • you became self-employed on / after 6 April 2019
  • you were actively trading in the year to 5 April 2020
  • over 50% of your individual income is from self-employment
  • your trading profits were below £50,000 in financial year 2019-20
  • you are trading / intending to continue the same trade in the current tax year
  • you have lost business due to coronavirus and are suffering financial hardship as a result
  • you are ineligible for other COVID-19 related business support (including the Business Interruption Loan Schemes, Corporate Finance Fund, Job Retention Schemes, Future Fund, R&D Focussed SMEs Fund, HMRC Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, Non-Domestic Rates relief, Small Business Grant or other business support)
  • you do not receive working age benefit payments (Universal Credit, Statutory Sick Pay, Employment and Support Allowance, Job Seekers’ Allowance, Income Support) or have applied for but not yet started receiving Universal Credit
  • you trade as self-employed, not as a limited company or partnership
  • you have taken steps to limit costs and expenditure (including through schemes such as VAT deferral and seeking a mortgage payment holiday)
  • you do not have access to sufficient savings or other sources of income to meet basic needs

The loss of non-trading income e.g. rental income is not covered by the Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund.

Can I claim if I am VAT registered?

You can apply for a grant even if you are VAT registered.  We recommend that you defer your VAT payments before making a claim for the grant.  If you pay your VAT by direct debit instruction (DDI) it is not too late to cancel your DDI.

How long will the cash take to arrive?

You claim should be processed and the cash paid to your bank account within 10 working days (2 weeks).


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